The mainstream media has all but abandoned the protests still happening in Ferguson, MI following the death of unarmed teen Michael Brown last August, but Talib Kweli sure hasn’t.
Kewli and his Action Support Committee started the Ferguson Defense Fund on Indiegogo back in October and managed to raise $112,000 for local Ferguson protestors. According to a press release, $48,000 of the funds are going to the following places:
● JAIL & BAIL FUND: Missourians Organizing For Reform and Empowerment (MORE) — $35,000 — Designated explicitly for re-granting for bail funds and legal support for Ferguson protesters. (http://www.organizemo.org/)
● ARTISTS AS TUTORS: Artists as Tutors — $2,000 — Provides Ferguson students with homework help and sharing skills in music, visual art, creative writing and theater. (http://artistsastutors.weebly.com/)
● REVOLUTIONARY READING PROGRAM: Freedom Fighters — $2,000 — A Ferguson-based program collecting and disseminating historical black literature for adults and children. (http://twitter.com/ff_stl)
● TECH IMPACT INITIATIVE: Hands Up United — $2,000 — . As a way counter cyber warfare, close the digital divide and address the issues of economic equality, Hands Up United will lead technical training workshops to the Ferguson community. (http://www.handsupunited.org/)
● JUVENTUD RAZA UNIDA: Latinos en Axion STL — $2,000 — Youth leadership program for Latino youth between ages 12- 18. It will take place in the summer of 2015 and will promote self empowerment, community activism trainings and build Black and Brown collaborations with other St. Louis groups. (http://www.latinosenaxionstl.com)
● THE TRANSITIONAL HOUSING PROGRAM: Operations Help or Hush — $2,000 — Provides transitional housing for protesters who have lost income or financial support and are facing homelessness as a result of their activism. (http://operationhelporhush.org/)
● BEREAVEMENT FUND: Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) — $3,800 —Working for peace, justice, and nonviolence since 1915, FOR has been in Ferguson providing providing assistance to bereaved families and activist groups on the ground. (http://forusa.org/)
The New York-based rapper is determined to help Ferguson keep this fight going. “These are young men and women who have put their lives on hold to stand up for all of our freedoms,” Kweli mentioned in a statement. “The overly militarized police force in Ferguson has attempted to criminalize them by harassing and throwing them in jail for exercising their right to peaceful protest. We hope these funds help to empower.”
That leaves $64,000 left, $20,000 of which is going toward the Action Support Committee’s Revolution School, and the other $44,000 will go toward national efforts to keep the fight alive. At this point, someone has to. Good on you, Talib.